Ditropan XL (Oxybutynin ER) and/or alternatives
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General Information On Ditropan XL
Ditropan XL (generic name: Oxybutynin) is an oral medication used to treat muscle spasms in the bladder and urinary tract, including symptoms like frequent or urgent urination, incontinence, and increased urination at night. Oxybutynin belongs to the category of antispasmodics that work by relaxing the bladder muscles to help reduce problems associated with frequency and urgency of urination. Sometimes, this drug can also be used in children who are at least 6 years age who have overactive bladders due to certain nerve disorders like spina bifida. You can buy Ditropan XL in the form of oral tablets with 5mg, 10mg, and 15mg strengths.
Side Effects for Ditropan XL
Some commonly experienced side effects of the drug include dry mouth, diarrhea, mild constipation, blurred vision, dry eyes, nausea, stomach upset, mild stomach pain, dizziness or drowsiness, weakness, insomnia, a runny nose, or headache. Although most of these get better in time, you should contact your doctor if any of these become intolerable. You should stop using Ditropan XL and seek medical help if you experience extreme thirst, hot or dry skin, severe constipation or stomach pain, burning or pain while urinating, and little or no urination. An allergic reaction to the drug may be identified by swelling of the face, lips, throat, or tongue, difficulty breathing, hives, rashes, or extreme dizziness.
You should not take Ditropan XL if you are suffering from active internal bleeding, slow movement, or blockage in the intestines like paralytic ileus or gastric retention, urinary retention, or narrow angle glaucoma. Also inform your doctor if you have a disease related to the bladder, muscle, heart, liver, kidney, intestines, or stomach, in addition to high blood pressure, loss of mental agility, an enlarged prostate, severe narrowing of the intestines, throat, or stomach, or an overactive thyroid. As the drug makes you dizzy, you should limit your alcohol intake and not perform any such activity that requires complete alertness, such as driving a vehicle. Since the drug decreases sweating, you become more susceptible to a heatstroke. Therefore, avoid being exposed to direct sunlight or becoming overheated due to rigorous exercise, a sauna, or hot weather.
Ditropan XL Dosage
You will initially be advised to take Ditropan XL 5mg to 10mg once a day with or without food. The dosage can then be increased to Ditropan XL 5mg intervals until you have achieved the desired results. You should not chew, crush, break, or dissolve the tablets- swallow them whole with a glass of water.
Before you buy Ditropan XL, you should inform your doctor if you are already taking anticholinergic drugs like atropine or scopolamine, other antispasmodic medicines like dicyclomine or propantheline, anti-Parkinson’s drugs like benztropine or trihexyphenidyl, bisphosphonate drugs or belladonna alkaloids like etidronate or alendronate, drugs that affect liver enzymes like azole antifungals, macrolide antibiotics, rifamycins, anti-seizure medicines like rifabutin, ketoconazole, erythromycin, or carbamazepine, and potassium capsules or tablets. As the drug causes dizziness, you should not take it with other products that have the same effect, including antihistamines, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-seizure medicines, sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, psychiatric medicines, narcotic pain relievers, and tranquilizers. Also do not take Ditropan XL with HIV/AIDS medicines like ritonavir, other urinary or bladder medications like flavoxate or darifenacin, bronchodilators like tiotropium or ipratroprium, and irritable bowel drugs like dicyclomine or propantheline.
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What is a "Generic" medication/drug?
Generic drugs are medications that have comparable medicinal ingredients as the original brand name drug, but which are generally cheaper in price. Nearly 1 in 3 drugs dispensed are "generic". They undergo testing to ensure that they are similar to their "brand" counterparts in:
- Active Ingredient (e.g. "Pravastatin" is the active ingredient in brand name Pravachol)
- Dosage (e.g. 10 mg of the active ingredient)
- Safety (e.g. same or similar side effects, drug interactions)
- Performance (e.g. 10 mg of a "generic" can be substituted for 10 mg of the "brand" and have the same therapeutic result)
- Intended use (e.g. both "generic" and "brand" would be prescribed for the same conditions)
What this means is that "generic" medications can be used as a substitute of their brand equivalents with the comparable therapeutic results. There are a few exceptions (examples are outlined at the end of this page) and as always you should consult your physician before switching from a brand name medications to a generic or vice versa.
What differences are there between generic and brand?
While generics and brand equivalent drugs contain the same active ingredients, they may be different in the following ways:
- Appearance (e.g. the scoring or markings)
The color, shape and size of the medication come from the fillers that are added to the active ingredients to make the drug. These fillers that are added to the drug have no medical use and do not to change the effectiveness of the final product. A generic drug must contain comparable active ingredients and must have a comparable strength and dosage as the original brand name equivalent. Generic drugs can be more cost effective than purchasing the brand name.
Why do generics cost less than the brand name equivalents?
When a new drug is "invented", the company that discovered it has a patent on it that gives them the exclusive production rights for this medication. Once the patent expires in a country, other companies can bring the product to market under their own name. This patent prevents other companies from copying the drug during that time so they can earn back their Research and Development costs through being the exclusive supplier of the product. After the patent expires however, other companies can develop a "generic" version of the product. These versions generally are offered at much lower prices because the companies do not have the same development costs as the original company who developed the medication.
The main thing to realize here though is that the two products are therapeutically equivalent. They may look different, and be called something different.
How are Generic drugs tested to ensure quality and efficacy?
Generally speaking, the two most generally accepted methods to prove the safety of a generic version of a drug are to either repeat most of the chemistry, animal and human studies originally done, or to show that the drug performs comparably with the original brand name drug. This second option is called a "comparative bioavailability" study. During this type of study, volunteers are given the original drug, and then separately later the generic drug. The rates at which the drug is delivered to the patient (into their blood stream or otherwise absorbed) are measured to ensure they are the same. Because the same active ingredient is used the major concern is just that it delivers the common chemical(s) at the same rate so that they have the same effect. Please note that the methods that the manufacturers use may vary from country to country.